In The News: Ben Folds & Nick Hornby, Big Boi, Azure Ray, Them Crooked Vultures, Superchunk, Dean & Britta, Gin Blossoms, Yazoo And More


Two of the most influential pop-culture figures of the last 20 years, singer/songwriter Ben Folds and novelist/screenwriter Nick Hornby, have collaborated on a record called Lonely Avenue, which is scheduled for release September 28 on Nonesuch Records. Lonely Avenue features music and vocals from Folds and lyrics by Hornby and was made specifically to be heard on vinyl, according to Folds, though digital and CD versions will be available … Big Boi (a.k.a. Antwan André Patton), one-half of Outkast, is set to release his first solo record July 6 on Def Jam. Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty features collaborations from fellow Southern rappers T.I. and Gucci Mane, in addition to Outkast’s more eclectic half, Andre 3000, and several others … Celebrated female indie duo Azure Ray will finally close the lengthy gap between records with the September 14 release of Drawing Down The Moon on Saddle Creek. The album was made in Asheville, N.C., at Echo Mountain Studios with Eric Bachmann and features guest performances from fellow Athens, Ga., pals Andy LeMaster (Now It’s Overhead) and Liz Durrett … Rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures have booked a series of benefit shows in London and Los Angeles to assist Eagles Of Death Metal bassist Brian O’Connor, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. O’Connor will be temporarily replaced by Dean Fertita (Dead Weather, Queens Of The Stone Age) on Eagles Of Death Metal’s current tour. If you’d like to contribute to O’Connor’s medical care fund (like so many musicians, he doesn’t have health insurance), please visit here … On July 13, Superchunk is releasing the “Digging For Something” b/w “February Punk” seven-inch in advance of its upcoming full-length, Majesty Shredding (Merge). The multi-colored vinyl is limited to 1,000 copies and features cover art by Harrison Haynes of Les Savy Fav. Stream “Digging For Something” … Dean & Britta are touring this fall and playing some of Dean Wareham’s beloved Galaxie 500 material. Those dates can be found on the band’s website, in addition to information on how to pre-order D&B’s limited-run, double-CD release 13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests … Thirty million records sold and they’re still at it: Gin Blossoms have signed with 429 Records and are releasing No Chocolate Cake on August 28, which they’ll support this fall with an extensive U.S. tour … Iconic Pacific Northwest label Suicide Squeeze is restarting its singles club in July with new seven-inches from JEFF The Brotherhood and the Coathangers, whose release will feature remixes from Dan Deacon and Judi Chicago. Limited-edition vinyl singles are also planned for Memoryhouse and Iron & Wine later this year … The short-lived, influential English synth-pop duo known as Yazoo (Yaz in the U.S.) is releasing Reconnected Live on September 28 via Mute. The double album documents the 2008 tour that reunited Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke. The pair left a significant mark on pop music despite making just two records, 1982’s Upstairs At Eric’s and 1983’s You And Me Both.

—Ryan Burleson

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